Welcome to the third official UPO Bulletin!
I am pleased to share this space highlighting the latest news and updates from our Office. While COVID has brought forth an unpredictable time, the UPO has used this time to improve our internal systems and processes, develop new databases, pursue new opportunities that have surfaced, and cultivate our growing network of partners.
Our Virtual Internship Programme (VIP) continues to bring students from our partner universities to engage in projects across AKU and the AKDN. We just recruited our third cohort of interns who come to us from seven Universities in North America and who have been placed in Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Kenya, Portugal, Canada, and Switzerland.
Our first cohort of AKU students on the Reciprocal Virtual Internships is off to a great start as they enter the fourth week of their virtual internships at Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria. The next recruitment cycle for interested students will begin in January 2021.
The UPO recently received funding to support 28 student and faculty exchanges with NOVA University, an institutional partner of AKU. This funding will contribute to new programming opportunities between NOVA’s School of Public Health and AKU’s Community Health Sciences in Pakistan, and the Department of Population Health in East Africa. Activities will begin in the summer of 2021.
The UPO recently signed an MOU agreement with the University of Michigan to support AKU’s work in East Africa around a grant on data science. Over time we expect that the partnership will extend to multiple areas of thematic interest to AKU. This partnership adds to our list of partners who are integral to collaborating on new areas of growth.